GVSU extends win streak to six after weekend sweep
On the wrong side of an 11-4 run in the second half, one key play for the Grand Valley State University men’s basketball team flipped the momentum in their favor.
Sophomore Kristers Zeidaks stole the ball on the defensive end and threw the ball ahead to classmate Ryan Majerle, who found Zeidaks for the momentum changing two-handed dunk.
In what has become commonplace at GVSU (7-1, 4-0 GLIAC) basketball games, Zeidaks’ dunk sparked a 9-2 Lakers run and GVSU remained in control for the rest of the game, as it won its sixth-consecutive game, defeating Ohio Dominican University (3-5, 0-4 GLIAC) 67-58.
“It gives extra adrenaline to everybody, as much as it does to me,” Zeidaks said about his dunk. “We kind of go harder after every energetic play like that. It’s natural.”
Sophomore Ryan Sabin managed to score 15 points. Sabin has scored in double digits in every game this year except for one. Senior Breland Hogan led GVSU with 16 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
“I kind of noticed instead of being a distributor a little bit, I had to be aggressive to get my guys motivated,” Hogan said. “It worked out in the end. I really like shooting free throws. Easy baskets, I mean, it’s free.”
The Lakers led 35-30 at the half and padded their lead with an 11-4 run to start the second half, giving GVSU their largest lead of the game, 46-34. However, Ohio Dominican would fight their way back into the game before falling by 11.
“I thought Ohio Dominican played well and really gave us a challenge,” Wesley said. “Happy to get the win. That being said, our defensive awareness wasn’t that good and I thought offensively we missed a lot of easy opportunities.”
The win on Saturday for GVSU was their second GLIAC win of the weekend. On Thursday, the Lakers used a huge 26-1 second half run on their way to defeating Tiffin University (3-4, 1-2 GLIAC) 66-52.
Zeidaks was a part of the play of the game in this contest as well. He was on the receiving end of an alley-oop pass from Tony Peters, and Zeidaks threw down the dunk over a Tiffin defender and was fouled on the play. He would convert the free to complete the three-point play.
GVSU managed to contain one of the conference’s best scorers, Tiffin’s Joe Graessle, who entered the game averaging 23.2 points per game. Graessle managed to score 23 points, but on 7-of-22 shooting. Most of his points were in garbage time when the outcome of the game was already decided.
“(Graessle is) one of the top scorers in the conference,” Wesley said. “He makes a lot of difficult shots. He’s a tough matchup. We tried to limit him as much as we could.”
Five Lakers scored in double figures, with Zeidaks leading the way with 12 points and six rebounds. Senior Tony Peters provided a spark off the bench, recording 11 points in only 14 minutes of action.
“I thought our guys came off the bench and got it going for us in the second half,“ Wesley said.
GVSU will look to add to its six-game winning streak when they travel to Hillsdale College on Saturday.